by Mandy Green, Busy Coach
Due to the nature of the work, coaches have to follow a flexible schedule. You need to be free to accommodate the needs of your teams and recruits and other administrative staff with whom you work.
But coach, you don’t have to turn your schedules over to others as much as you may think.
The most successful people in any profession are usually highly scheduled. Have you ever met a successful doctor who tells patients to “come on in any ol’ time”?
No, doctors have highly scheduled lives. They have blocks of time set up for seeing patients, performing surgeries, and working at their hospitals. They know how many patients they need to see each day to create the lifestyles they choose to live.
Is it possible for you to run your program the same way? It’s certainly more efficient than the way most of us coaches run our programs now.
Time blocking involves consistently setting aside time for the high priority activities. Time blocking will provide some much needed structure in your day and as long as you avoid getting distracted and commit to just doing the one thing, it will allow you to complete tasks or at least complete a large part of a task before moving on to something else. The fundamental rationale for time blocking is the knowledge that if high priority activities don’t get scheduled, they usually get done feebly, fruitlessly, or not at all.
Here is how it works. Decide on the tasks you will do for a particular day. Instead of just having a “to do” list with everything listed in order of importance and working down the list, take a few items from the list that are top priority for accomplishing what you need to accomplish, and block out whatever time you want to allocate to that task. This can be 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, or 2 hours. The point is to only allocate the allotted time to each task.
What activities should you time block for?
Time Blocking at Work
What if you had two uninterrupted hours every day to focus on nothing else but your most important activities? The time might be spent planning or working on recruiting, developing your team and staff, getting caught up on administrative work, or learning something that will add value to your program. How would spending just two hours dedicated to the really important things improve your program? Keep in mind that these two hours are focused, uninterrupted work time and do not include all the other time spent traveling, in meetings, talking by phone, sending email and other activities also directly related to achieving these activities.
Personal Time Blocking
You cannot be effective in your work if your inner reserves are depleted. Making time to “recharge your batteries” will actually boost your energy. Block time for exercise, contemplation, relaxation or recreation. Be sure to carve out time for family or friends as well. And, before committing to anything else, be sure to pencil in some vacation time as well. Then, treat appointments with yourself as respectfully as you would with others.
After talking to all of the coaches that I have worked with since coming on board with Dan Tudor about 10 years ago, I would say that the number one reason coaches do not reach their goals is because they did not allocate enough time in the office to accomplish the goal or goals that they set for their recruiting, team, staff, or for themselves.
Tonight, figure out what your 3 most important activities are for tomorrow. Then open your calendar and block off the time you need to get these activities worked on. When it is time to get to work, WORK! Protect that time and don’t let anything interrupt that time you have allocated to work on a significant task or goal that you have. Good luck!